Market monitoring ineffective in JhapaMarket monitoring, an exercise that is mandatory to ensure consumer health and safety, has not seen effective implementation in Jhapa district due to a lack of technical knowhow, required resources and manpower.
Market monitoring, an exercise that is mandatory to ensure consumer health and safety, has not seen effective implementation in Jhapa district due to a lack of technical knowhow, required resources and manpower.
After the 2017 local elections, local units were granted authority to monitor the market to expand availability of quality goods and services to consumers. A legal
provision of Consumers Welfare Protection Committee, headed by deputy mayor or deputy chief, is responsible to oversee the monitoring in respective local units. However, all 15 local bodies in Jhapa have not carried out the procedure effectively. Some of the deputy mayors or chiefs are even unaware of their rights to monitor the market and therefore ensure consumer rights.
Kamala Acharya, deputy mayor of Arjundhara Municipality, admitted that her municipality has not conducted market monitoring exercises because the elected people’s representatives do not have the technical knowledge in the matter. “We do find goods without manufacturing and expiry dates, but we don’t know if we are allowed to destroy the goods,” said Acharya, stating that the municipality has so far failed to take action for lack of knowledge in the procedure of conducting monitoring exercises.
The people’s representatives further claimed that when the local elected representatives initiate market monitoring campaigns, government employees interfere. According to them, even the animal quarantine office does not coordinate with the concerned local units while importing fish and other meat products from India.
Ratna Rajbanshi, deputy chief of Bahradashi Rural Municipality, said that the local unit does conduct these exercises but do not take action against the guilty. “We don’t take action against the guilty because we don’t have the adequate knowledge about the matter,” she added.